They said Jesus was a drunk, Paul was not really an apostle and that anyone could do Moses' job. So you are in good company if people are circulating false rumors about you.
Rumors in the church may be inevitable, but damage to your family is not. Although I cannot stop rumors from circulating, I can keep my family from hearing all of them. Though my family serves alongside me, we don't discuss problems at home. I don't tell my family the negative things people say about me because I don't want them to resent others in the church.
But sometimes a minister's family hears rumors from elsewhere, or the allegations are so serious that he must discuss them with his family. If this happens to you, tell your family members what they need to know and ask them not to defend you.
A minister in Texas was under attack from a disturbed man who spread vicious stories of child molestation and adultery with his elderly wife. The man threatened to kill the minister if he didn't stop the "affair."
The minister did two things. First, he enlisted a policeman to keep and eye on the man during worship services. Second, he told his wife what was being said, explained the man's mental condition and outlined the measures he had taken to protect himself. Their conversation helped prepare her to hear the rumors from others.
A former colleague resigned his ministry because of allegations of financial impropriety. He did not steal, but he did spend church funds without proper authorization. Still, the rumors were far worse that the reality.
He told his children the rumors were not true. Then in their presence he asked God to forgive him for not following the proper channels and to forgive the people who were hurting him. He did more than correct the misinformation — he modeled grace and humility to his family.
The chairman of the deacons in a church I once served called a special meeting to "investigate allegations" about me. The chairman invited those repeating the rumors but prohibited me from attending. I felt powerless.
My wife was livid when she heard about the meeting. She wanted to confront the chairman with his unethical behavior. I asked her not to, trusting that God would protect me and knowing her call would only make matters worse.
If you want to stop the rumor mill, you can't let strong emotions overrule your reasoning ability. Instead, stay in control of your response. If appropriate, confront those involved and correct the misinformation.
You can't always stop the rumor mill from working. But, with patience and wisdom, you can keep it from working overtime in your family.
One of the most effective targets in our battle can be found in the home of the pastor. The Enemy said it himself: Strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered. So take aim now at the pastor's marriage.
Ever feel like you wear a mask to cover up who you are as a pastor's kid? Do you feel like you have to hide the real you? Growing up in a minister's home, I felt like I was always smiling through the pain or putting on an attitude to please the people of my father's church — but not necessarily my God.